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Zoom Admits It Removed US Activist Accounts On China Government 'Request'

Zoom Admits It Removed US Activist Accounts On China Government 'Request'

Zoom Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) on Thursday admitted it had removed two activist accounts in the United States and one in Hong Kong upon a request from the Government of China.

Chinese Government Requested Action

"In May and early June, we were notified by the Chinese government about four large, public June 4th commemoration meetings on Zoom that were being publicized on social media, including meeting details," the video conferencing company said in a statement.

"The Chinese government informed us that this activity is illegal in China and demanded that Zoom terminate the meetings and host accounts."

Zoom said it terminated three of the four meetings because they had some participants from mainland China, and the accounts of meeting hosts were suspended.

The Beijing government significantly restricts and cracks down on public remembrance of the Tiananmen Square massacre victims. At least 2,600 pro-democracy student protesters in Hong Kong were killed at the hand of Chinese authorities in 1989, according to the Red Cross Society of China figures, although that number remains disputed.

Three Hong Kong activists based in the U.S. and one in the semi-autonomous city had organized commemoration meetings at the anniversary date on June 4.

Crackdown Due To Lack Of Technology, Zoom Says

Zoom, which has seen record growth during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, said it lacks the technology to restrict meeting participation based on geographic location.

The California-based company said it "does not currently have the ability to remove specific participants from a meeting or block participants from a certain country from joining a meeting."

According to Zoom, it is working on developing technology "over the next several days" to let it block or remove meeting participants based on geography, and won't let Chinese government requests impact users outside of the country going forward.

Zoom Price Action

Zoom shares closed nearly 0.5% higher at $222.07 on Thursday. The shares added another 0.9% in the after-hours session, at $224.10.


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